Is a church a public space?
As reported by the Manchester Evening News, leaders of the Church of England don't think so, at least not as far as violent video game depictions are concerned.
CoE officials are up in arms over the depiction of Manchester Cathedral as a setting for battles in Resistance: Fall of Man, a best-selling PS3 launch title. Said the Bishop of Manchester, the Right Reverend Nigel McCulloch:
It is well known that Manchester has a gun crime problem. For a global manufacturer to re-create one of our great Cathedrals with photo-realistic quality and then encourage people to have guns battles in the building is beyond belief and highly irresponsible.
Here in Manchester we do all we can to support communities through our parish clergy, we know the reality of gun crime and the devastating effects it can have on the lives - it is not a trivial matter.
Patsy McKie, who lost a 17-year-old son to Manchester gun violence told the BBC:
I believe it's something that needs to be taken seriously first by the Church but also by parents. We're actually fighting for the minds of our children. There's a war going on - not just in Iraq, but right here on our doorstep - for the minds of our children.
A Sony spokesman said:
It is game-created footage, it is not video or photography. It is entertainment, like Doctor Who or any other science fiction. It is not based on reality at all. Throughout the whole process we have sought permission where necessary.
A company press release added:
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe is aware of the concerns expressed by the Bishop of Manchester and the cathedral authorities... and we naturally take the concerns very seriously.
Church officials want an apology and the removal of Resistance from store shelves. Otherwise, they've threatened legal action. The BBC has a video report.
GP Poll: What are your thoughts on this controversy? Vote in the latest GamePolitics poll, located in the upper right sidebar.